Recent Internet outages have affected 85 million users in India, Pakistan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Sudan, Egypt and United Arab Emirates
Work on the broken undersea Internet cable in the Persian Gulf has immediately started on Tuesday while ships safely arrive at a site in northern Egypt to repair two cables that were cut three days ago.
FLAG Telecom said that the broken cables disrupted data services across an important swath of the Middle East and India. However, the breaks in the data cables’ causes are still unknown.
Dragging ship anchors caused by rough waters in the eastern Mediterranean were the initial suspicion, but Egypt’s telecommunication ministry publicly announced on Sunday that no vessels were registered near the affected location in the period when the first cut in the data cables took berth.
The cable breaks have been causing a growing buzz on tech blogs and drawing attention from conspiracy theorists, who suspect everything from information warfare to terrorism to sabotage by the United States to disrupt Internet connections to Iran, whose connectivity indeed has been pretty much blacked out for most of the past week.
Despite all the conspiracy speculation, such breaks are not without precedence. In December 2006, seven of the eight Internet cables connected to Taiwan were damaged by an earthquake. Internet communications in much of Asia were disrupted for weeks.
The breaks are focusing rapt attention on the vulnerability of the oceanic network that handles 95% of the world’s Internet and telephone traffic.